[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 177 (Wednesday, September 12, 2012)]
[Pages 56229-56230]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22416]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-R-2011-N267; FXRS12650400000-123-FF04R02000]

White River National Wildlife Refuge, AR; Final Comprehensive 
Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact for 
Environmental Assessment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of our final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and 
finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the environmental 
assessment for White River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Desha, 
Monroe, Phillips, and Arkansas Counties, AR. In the final CCP, we 
describe how we will manage this refuge for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the CCP by writing to: Mr. Dennis 
Sharp, Refuge Manager, White River NWR, 57 CC Camp Road, St. Charles, 
AR 72140. Alternatively, you may download the document from our 
Internet Site: http://southeast.fws.gov/planning under ``Final 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mike Dawson, Refuge Planner, 
Jackson, MS, at 601/955-1518 (telephone), or mike_dawson@fws.gov 



    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for White River NWR. 
We started this process through a notice in the Federal Register on 
January 21, 2009 (74 FR 3628). For more about the process, see that 
    White River Migratory Waterfowl Refuge was established by Executive 
Order 7173 of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on September 5, 1935. The 
purpose of the refuge is to protect and conserve migratory birds and 
other wildlife resources. White River NWR contains 160,000 acres and 90 
miles of the White River lie within the boundaries of the refuge.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the final CCP and 
FONSI for White River NWR in accordance with the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements. We completed a 
thorough analysis of impacts on the human environment, which we 
included in the draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental 
assessment (Draft CCP/EA).
    The CCP will guide us in managing and administering White River NWR 
for the next 15 years. Alternative C, as we described in the final CCP, 
is the foundation for the CCP.
    The compatibility determinations for the following can be found in 
the final CCP: (1) Hunting, (2) fishing, (3) wildlife observation and 
photography, (4) environmental education and interpretation, (5) 
amateur ham radio operation, (6) camping, (7) commercial guiding for 
wildlife observation and photography, (8) commercial video and 
photography, (9) commercial waterfowl guiding, (10) commercial fishing, 
(11) cooperative farming, (12) field trials, (13) forest products 
harvesting, (14) furbearer trapping, (15) haying, (16) nuisance animal 
control, (17) research and monitoring, and (18) tournament fishing.


The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Administration Act), as amended by the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires us to develop 
a CCP for each national wildlife refuge. The

[[Page 56230]]

purpose for developing a CCP is to provide refuge managers with a 15-
year plan for achieving refuge purposes and contributing toward the 
mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System, consistent with sound 
principles of fish and wildlife management, conservation, legal 
mandates, and our policies. In addition to outlining broad management 
direction on conserving wildlife and their habitats, CCPs identify 
wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, 
including opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, 
wildlife photography, and environmental education and interpretation. 
We will review and update the CCP at least every15 years in accordance 
with the Administration Act.


    Approximately 100 copies of the Draft CCP/EA were made available 
for a 30-day public review and comment period via a Federal Register 
notice on October 14, 2011 (76 FR 63945). Fifty seven public comments 
and two agency comments were received.

Selected Alternative

    After considering the comments we received and based on our 
professional judgment, we selected Alternative C for implementation. 
This alternative is judged to be the most effective management action 
for meeting the purposes of the refuge by optimizing habitat management 
and visitor services throughout the refuge. Over the life of the CCP, 
this management action will balance an enhanced wildlife management 
program with increased opportunities for public use on the refuge. This 
alternative will pursue the same five broad refuge goals as each of the 
other alternatives described in the Draft CCP/EA.
    We selected Alternative C for implementation because it directs the 
development of programs to best achieve the refuge's purpose and goals; 
emphasizes a landscape approach to land management; collects habitat 
and wildlife data; and ensures long-term achievement of refuge and 
Service objectives. At the same time, its management actions provide 
balanced levels of compatible public use opportunities consistent with 
existing laws, Service policies, and sound biological principles. It 
provides the best mix of program elements to achieve the desired long-
term conditions within the anticipated funding and staffing levels, and 
positively addresses significant issues and concerns expressed by the 


    This notice is published under the authority of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 105-57.

    Dated: January 4, 2012.
Mark J. Musaus,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 2012-22416 Filed 9-11-12; 8:45 am]